So…we’re hosting a big cocktail party here next week. I like cocktail parties, because they are relatively easy to pull off. All you need are some old friends and some new friends, plus a full bar and some exquisite but simple appetizers.
And speaking of appetizers…are you familiar with Hot Pizza Dip? It’s a common cream cheese-based item, but it’s absolutely delicious. It’s easy to make, too, and you can make it well ahead of time. Just pop it in the oven about 30 minutes before your guests arrive.
The recipe for Hot Pizza Dip was developed, I suspect, in the 1980s. So put some glitter on your face and some Tenax in your hair (remember that stuff?), and proceed this way:
First, fling some softened cream cheese into a bowl.
Add some Italian seasoning…
And stir ’em all together.
Then stir in some shredded mozzarella cheese…
And an equal amount of shredded Parmesan cheese.
Spread the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate or a similarly-sized gratin dish.
Cover the goods with your favorite pizza sauce…
And sprinkle the sauce with some additional mozzarella and Parmesan.
Now take 1 green bell pepper and 1 red bell pepper…
And coarsely diced them. You’ll need only 2 tablespoons-worth of each kind. Save the remainder for tomorrow’s omelet.
Distribute the peppers over the cheese, and notice how pretty the dip looks. And we haven’t even baked it yet.
Make ahead note: At this point, you can cover the dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.
Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly — 25-30 minutes.
Well, well, well. For something I’d call “frat-boy fare,” this dip is stringy-cheesy wonderful. I couldn’t stop eating it.
For today’s taste-testing experiment, I spooned the dip onto cheap Ritz crackers. For my cocktail event next week, I’ll probably serve the dip with toasted slices of a not-so-cheap French baguette. After all, unlike this heavily-made up 1980s icon, I have a reputation to maintain.
Think you’ll give this awesome dip a try? You can let me know by leaving a comment. As always, I love hearing from you!
Here’s the printable:
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And if you need more party appetizer ideas, you’ll find them right here.